Physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling of CYP3A4 induction by rifampicin in human: influence of time between substrate and inducer administration

Publication: Eur J Pharm Sci
Software: GastroPlus®


The induction of cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) is an important source of drug-drug interaction (DDI) and can result in pronounced changes in pharmacokinetics (PK). Rifampicin (RIF) is a potent inducer of CYP3A4 and also acts as a competitive inhibitor which can partially mask the induction. The objective of this study was to determine a clinical DDI study design for RIF resulting in maximum CYP3A4 induction. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to project the dynamics and magnitude of CYP3A4 induction in vivo from in vitro data generated with primary human hepatocytes. The interaction model included both inductive and inhibitory effects of RIF on CYP3A4 in gut and liver and accounting for the observed RIF auto-induction. The model has been verified for 4 CYP3A4 substrates: midazolam, triazolam, alfentanil and nifedipine using plasma concentration data from 20 clinical study designs with intravenous (n=7) and oral (n=13) administrations. Finally, the influence of the time between RIF and substrate administration was explored for the interaction between midazolam and RIF. The model integrating in vitro induction parameters correctly predicted intravenous induction but underestimated oral induction with 30% of simulated concentrations more than 2-fold higher than of observed data. The use of a 1.6-fold higher value for the maximum induction effect (Emax) improved significantly the accuracy and precision of oral induction with 82% of simulated concentrations and all predicted PK parameters within 2-fold of observed data. Our simulations suggested that a concomitant administration of RIF and midazolam resulted in significant competitive inhibition limited to intestinal enzyme. Accordingly, a maximum induction effect could be achieved with a RIF pretreatment of 600 mg/day during 5 days and a substrate administration at least 2 h after the last RIF dose. A period of 2 weeks after RIF removal was found sufficient to allow return to baseline levels of enzyme.